The Umbrella Revolution had taught me about the role of a photographer. Seeing all the great live images from the photojournalists, does make you wonder if you’d be able to get some. Answer is simple, yes and no. Yes, if you get paid. No, if you ain’t get a dime from a single image. There’s a fine line between your passion and your own personal safety. Riots and protests can go sour especially on the frontline when the civilians go against the police authority. You have 50% chance of getting hurt without any insurance coverage, damaging your gear (insurance associated). I just think it’s not worth it to risk on any of the above mentioned unless yourself is part of the protest party. Give the job to the journalists and leave your passion behind until the situation improved.
It was my first time in life remembering how a protest escalated and had turned into a riot of such scale in Hong Kong. My first reaction was ‘Oh my god! It’s really happening’. Right after the surprising announcement by Benny Tai of the Occupy Central founder which’s the same day midnight, they moved up the schedule to occupy Central as the students have gathered at the Government HQ and sparked a huge impact thru the news. It’s a statement just like declaring a war only the students were guerrilla and the Occupy Central with Love and Peace Movement Group is the mercenary backed by the news tycoon Jimmy Lai.
How quickly a movement like this had brought all the international news correspondents to town. I still remember I tuned in the 6pm news report just when I got home. Just when the live reporter about to describe the situation, the riot police popped a few gas grenades out. This type of scenes would only be seen through TV on the soccer-popular countries. The reporter got choked and people were escaping behind. I thought it was a surprise too, but surprises like these were necessary to contain the situation like all riot police in the world. It’s just rare happening here at our home turf. Really rare. The announcement last night I thought i was witnessing something, but then when the protesters gone mad with the tear gas i thought i was witnessing history. The history of how citizen protect their rights to protest and voice their views in indifferences.
The tear gas had brought more people out to the battle ground at the Government HQ the day after. The protesters had jammed the entire highway. That even brought more aware people to visit the site on foot on the first day of work after all the chaos happened over the weekend. All business district without traffic is a joke. It was a little jog from where I work but I made it there twice during lunch and once at night on the early few days of protest. The speedway of both direction to and out of Central is sealed off along with many other major passages, even the world famous double-decker Tram cannot run through Casueway Bay to Central (oops to tourists). It’s the artery to the heart of Hong Kong. Drivers are forced to drive up to the mountain to go pass all the roadblocks. That’s why business owners do not support this Occupy act.